Parrillo ’04 Book Wins Award from American Bar Association

Professor Nicholas R. Parrillo ’04 has received the Annual Scholarship Award from the ABA Section on Administrative Law for his book Against the Profit Motive: The Salary Revolution in American Government, 1780–1940 (Yale University Press, 2013). The award is given to the year’s best book or article on administrative law.

In Against the Profit Motive, Parrillo shows how American law once authorized government officers to make money from their jobs on a profit-seeking basis in a way that would surprise many observers today.

The ABA Section award committee’s citation for Against the Profit Motive says the book is “well-written, comprehensively researched, and provides important insights into once-common administrative practices and structures that have been wisely abandoned. At a time when local, state, and even the federal government are considering whether to privatize public functions, Professor Parrillo’s book provides an important cautionary note on the risks associated with embracing the profit motive as an organizing principle in the administrative state.” The committee added that it “was tremendously impressed with the depth and scope of Professor Parrillo’s historical research into a topic of considerable importance.”

Against the Profit Motive also received the Hurst Award from the Law and Society Association for the year’s best book on socio-legal history. (Read more about that award here.)

Parrillo teaches administrative law, legislation, remedies, and American legal history, as well as seminars on public management and privatization. In addition, Parrillo is a co-author of the forthcoming seventh edition of the casebook Administrative Law: The American Public Law System: Cases and Materials (West, 2014). A member of the New York bar, he holds a J.D. and Ph.D. from Yale and an A.B. from Harvard and served as a clerk to Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Visit the book’s webpage, where you can read the introductory chapter.

Watch a video of Parrillo discussing the book.